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1. How were the water requirements met in Vijayanagara?
Vijayanagara lay in one of the most arid zones of the peninsula. Elaborate arrangements had therefore to be made to meet the water requirements .Vijayanagara was located in the natural basin formed by the river Tungabhadra and the girdle of hills surrounding the city were home to number of streams. The rulers of Vijayanagara followed many steps to to meet the water requirements.
(i) Built embankments along the steams to create reservoirs of varying sizes.
(ii) Elaborate arrangements were made to store rain water and conduct it to the city.
(iii) The Kamalapuram tank was built in the 15th century. Water from this tank not only irrigated fields nearby, but was also connected through a channel to the royal centre.
(iv) Paes a foreign visitor during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya had given a graphic description of how the king made a tank at the mount of two hills so that the water which came from either side could collect, how pipes were laid along the lower ranges, to port water from a lake, which itself overflow into a little river.
In order to make the tank the king broke down a hill and many thousands of people were employed to construct the tank.
One of the most prominent water works to be seen among the ruins is the Hiriya canal. This canal drew water from the dam across the Tungabhadra and irrigated the cultivated valley that separated the 'sacred centre' from the urban centre. This was built by the king of the Sangama dynasty.
The surveys also indicate that wells, rainwater tanks as well as temple tanks may have server as sources of water to the ordinary town dwellers.
2. What was the significance of the rituals associated with the Mahanavami dibba?
The largest enclosure among the building complexes located in the south western part of the Vijayanagara has been assigned the name of king's palace though it has not yielded definitive evidence of being a royal residence.
The royal palace has two impressive platforms. One of them the mahanavami dibba is a massive platform rising from a base of about 11,000 sq.ft. to a height of 40 ft. It is located on the highest point in the city. The base of the platform is covered with relief carvings and there is evidence that it supported a wooden structure.
Rituals associated with the structure probably coincided with Mahanabami literally the 9th day of the 10 day Hindu festival known variously as Dussehra, Durga Puja, Navaratri or Mahanavami.
Among the ceremonies performed on the occasion were worship of image, worship of state horse, sacrifice of animals, dances, wrestling matches, procession of horses, elephants, chariots, soldiers and ritual presentations before the king, his guests, nayaks and subordinate kings.
On the last day the king inspected his armies, armies of nayaks and received rich gifts and tributes from nayaks.
The significance of these ceremonies was symbolic and imbued with deep message to his subjects, officers, feudatories and subordinate kings. Through them the Vijayanagara kings were not only trying to legitimise their authority but reinforce, reiterate it and display their power prestige and suzerainty.
3.What methods have been used to study the ruins of Hampi over the last two centuries?
The ruins at Hampi were brought to light in 1800 by an engineer and antiquarian named Colonel Colin Mackenzie. He prepared the first survey map of the site. Much of the initial information he received was based on the memories of priests of the Virupaksha temple and the shrine of Pampadevi. From 1856, photographers began to record the monuments which enabled scholars to study them. As early as 1836 epigraphists began collecting several dozen inscriptions found at this and other temples at Hampi. Historians Collected Information from this source with Accounts of foreign travelers and other literature written in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, and Sanskrit.
4. What were the advantages and disadvantages of enclosing agricultural within the fortified area of the city?
The agricultural lands were incorporated within the fortified area because; the objective of medieval sieges was to starve the defenders into submission. These sieges could last for several months and sometimes even years. Normally rulers tried to be prepared for such situations by building large granaries within fortified areas.
5. What is the history behind, temple building in the Vijayanagar Empire?
Temple building in this region had a history going back to Pallavas, Chalakyas Hoysalas and Chelas. Rulers encouraged temple building as a means of associating themselves with the divine- often with their deity. Temples also functioned as centers of earning. Rulers granted land and resources for the maintenance of temples. Hence temples developed a significant religious, social, cultural and economic center. Constructing, repairing and maintaining of temples were important means of winning support and recognition for their power, wealth and piety that was the belief of the rulers
6. What were the new features introduced in the temple architecture during this period?
The new features concluded structures of immense scale that must have been a mark of imperial authority best exemplified by the royal gopurams or royal gateways that often dwarfed the towers on the central shrines. And signaled the presence of the temple form a great distance they were the reminders of the king’s powers the other distinctive feature include manadapas or pavilions and the shrines within the temple complex.
7. Explain briefly about the Virupaksha temple that marked the Pomp and Splendor of Vijayanagar Empire?
The Virupaksha temple was enlarged with the establishment of the Vijayanagra Empire. The hall in front of the main shrine was built by Krishna Deva Raya to mark his accession. This was decorated with delicately carved pillars. He also constructed the eastern gopuram. The halls were used for placing the images celebrate marriages of deities and some for the deities to Swing in special images other than the main shine used for this purpose.
8. Give a brief account of the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire.
The factors responsible for the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire were:
(i) After the death of Krishnadeva Raya in 1526, strains began to show within imperial structure. Claimants to power included members of the ruling lineage as well as military commanders. Moreover, his successors were troubled by military nayakas.
(ii) By 1542 control at the centre shifted to the ruling lineage Aravidu which remained in power till the end of the 17th century. Sadashiva Ray ascended the throne in 1543 but the real power lay in the hands of a Triumvirate in which the leading person was Rama Raja. Rama Raja tried to play off the various Muslim powers against one another in order to maintain balance of power favourable to Vijayanagara. At length they Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda armies combined to inflict a crushing defeat on the armies of Vijayanagar led by Rama Raja at Talikota.
9. Who were the nayakas and what was their role in the Vijayanagara Empire?
Among those who exercised power in the empire were military chefs who controlled forts and had armed supports. They moved from one area to another and were accompanied by peasants looking for fertile land on which to settle. These chief were known as nayaks. They collected taxes and other dues form peasants, crafts persons and traders in the area. They kept a contingent of horses and elephants. They provided the king with an effective fighting force. They usually sent tribute to the king.
10. Give a characteristic sketch of Krishna deva Raya as a ruler?
Krishna deva Raya belonged to the Tuluva dynasty. His rule was characterized by expansion and consolidation. During this period, the land between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rioers was acquired (1512), the rulers of Orissa were subdued (1514) and severe defects were inflicted on the Sultan of Bijapur (1520). Though the kirydum remained in a state of military preparedness it flourished under conditions of unparalled peace and prosperity. Krishna deva Raya is credited with building fine temples and adding impressive gopurams. He founded a suburban township, Nagalapuram after his mother. After his death in 1529, his empire began to decline.
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